Four women break out of their confined lives and roles when they rent a Italian villa in this romantic drama of reawakening. Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson, Polly Walker, and Joan Plowright costar with the beautiful Mediterranean landscape.
Set in the world of London theater in the mid-1880s, Topsy-Turvy (1999) tackles the creative partnership between W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, the reigning kings of light operetta, at a turning in their career. Their work has become repetitive, their latest show a disappointment, and the partnership is under strain as composer Sullivan (Allan […]
There is indeed a spy in London Spy (2015) but this BBC mini-series is not a traditional espionage drama. Danny (Ben Whishaw) is a club-culture young gay man with a dreary day job who meets the closeted, emotionally suppressed Alex (Edward Holcroft), a genius with numbers but awkward with people. He’s an investment banker who […]
A couple of Thanksgivings ago, as the family hung out the few hours before dinner, my brother and I started telling my dad why he would like Hot Fuzz (2007), a film that otherwise doesn’t appear to be his cup of English tea. It was from the guys who made Shaun of the Dead and […]
Cloud Atlas (2012) wants nothing for ambition. Jumping between six distinctive stories in six different eras, with a cast that plays different (yet connected) parts in the various storyline, it’s at once literal and evasive, a film that wears its heart on its beautifully stitched sleeve and its meaning in its design and yet finds […]
Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Japan, 2017), the magical fantasy by Japanese animator and filmmaker Hiromasa Yonebayashi (director of the marvelous When Marnie Was There), based on a children’s novel by British author Mary Stewart, follows the adventures of a schoolgirl who receives magical powers for a day from a magical flower that blooms once […]
Nicholas Nickleby (Twilight Time, Blu-ray) (2002) – You can’t fault Douglas McGrath for his ambition. Determined to bring Charles Dickens’ 900 page semi-autobiographical novel to the screen, he condenses, chops, and briskly skips through what’s left of a dense pattern of improbably colorful characters, and still winds up with a Dickens of a tale. The […]
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) – The beloved C.S. Lewis adventure fantasy, about a quartet of English children who pass through the wardrobe of an English manor during World War II and emerge in a land of magic and danger had been adapted for TV in Britain but […]